For those who use electric vehicles, picking the right home electric vehicle charger is vital to ensure efficient and convenient charging. In this article, we take a look at some of the key factors to consider when picking a good home EV charger. Keep reading below to learn more about this topic.
Choose where to put the home charging station
Where do you park?
The first thing a person should consider is their parking space. Do they park their electric vehicle outdoors or in a garage? This factor is important as not all home EV chargers are weather-proof. Additionally, among units that are weather-proof, their level of resistance will depend on the particular climate and how extreme it is.
Therefore, say, if a person lives in a region that exposes their electric vehicles to icy temperatures, extreme rain or heat conditions, they should pick a home EV charger that can handle these specific types of extreme weather conditions. Additionally, in colder climates, it is better to pick a charger that has a more flexible cable, as they are easier to manipulate.
Where will you install the charging station?
Another thing that buyers need to do is to pay attention to the length of the cable that comes with the charger. A longer cable can provide more flexibility in parking a vehicle and positioning a charger. A general recommendation is to pick a unit that has a cable that is at least 18 ft long.
Do you need a cable for two?
For people who have more than one electric vehicle, they have a few options when it comes to chargers. The first is that they can get a dual charging station. As their name suggests, they can charge two vehicles at the same time. That said, they need to be installed somewhere where the cables can plug into both electric vehicles at the same time. The other option would be to buy two smart charging stations, and then install them on a single circuit and then link them together. While this option gives buyers more flexibility with the installation, this option is also considered more expensive.
Does it match your lifestyle?
Do you travel a lot?
For buyers who need to travel a lot, then they may consider buying a portable charging station, instead of a unit that is hard-wired and permanently mounted. Below, we explore the differences between the two:
These chargers hang on the wall and are plugged into a 240-volt receptacle. For those planning to use these charges, pay attention to the plug it comes with – it will usually be either a NEMA 14-50P or a NEMA 6-50P.Buyers also need to make sure they are compatible with the wall receptacle.
Permanently-mounted and hard-wired
Here, the home charging station is connected directly by a wire to the electrical panel. The installation of these units tends to be considered cleaner. They are therefore best for electric vehicle drivers that mainly have a sedentary lifestyle. Another advantage of these charging stations is that they are much more difficult to steal, compared to the portable version.
Consider how fast the charging station will charge
An electric vehicle’s charging time depends on a variety of factors. These include:
- The electric vehicle’s battery size – the bigger it is, the longer it will take to charge.
- The charging station’s maximum power capacity – if the home charging station can only output less, it will not charge the vehicle as fast as it can.
- The electric vehicle’s charger power capacity – if the charger can supply more, the vehicle will still limit the charging power and affect the time taken to recharge.
- Environment factors – a very hot or very cold battery can limit the maximum power intake, which can therefore affect charging times.
Buyers need to make sure that the electric vehicle charger is compatible with their electric vehicle’s make and model. Some chargers may even require specific adapters or connectors for certain vehicles.
Brand reputation and warranty
Buyers should pick a reputable brand that offers reliable and quality products. They should also check customer reviews and feedback to gauge how the charge performs. Another thing to consider is to pick chargers that come with a warranty to provide peace of mind in case any issues do wind up cropping up.
Some EV chargers come with extra features such as Wi-Fi connectivity and smartphone apps. This allows people to monitor and control charging remotely, schedule charging times, as well as receive notifications and alerts.
So, before making a decision, it is highly recommended to consult with an electrician or an EV charging expert to access your home’s electrical system and discuss the best charger options based on your specific needs. Take these factors into consideration before picking a home EV charger. This way, it can enhance your electric vehicle ownership experience.